tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN May 20, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
cuba. and it is true that you can't travel to cuba without some revenue going to government. that is certain. but the notion that every dollar spent ends up in the hands of cuban military is not the case. you have burj onning entremendousentre entrepreneurship is a testment to the fact that some money does flow to ordinary cuban people. that is then particularly the case with the travel of cuban-americans over the past couple of years. i should mention, when that policy was announced a couple of years ago the cuban-americans could travel not just once every three years but as often as they like. there was talk here in congress about reversing that you can't have that that's not good for the cuban people and not good for america. i can tell you there is no serious talk today about reversing that because why? because when americans get more freedom, we tend to enjoy that and want more.
and i would suggest that a year from now, the notion that we would reverse this policy that is allowed more americans to travel to cuba and to help cuban people have access to more technology more capital more values and more contact with americans will seem as absurd as reversing the changes that were made with cuban american travel a couple of years ago. so again, i applaud you for what you're doing and look forward to working with the administration as this policy unfolds. >> thank you, senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me ask you when a cuban-american sends or visits their relatives in cuba and give them a lit money, the only place really to buy something is the dollar store isn't is that true? if you want to get something? >> i believe certainly
there's -- there's more in those stores to buy. >> by the way, who owns the dollar stores? >> they are state run. >> okay. >> the government. and so if i want to send a remittance to my relative in cuba, the cuban government takes a slice, right? >> they do but the relatives probably want a part of that anyway. >> let's not deny the cuban government is greatly enriched by these resources, which is why it has been its number one foreign policy objective. let's talk about what full diplomatic relations are. you're going to having this discussion tomorrow i understand. what normalized relations are. the "washington post" ran a story suggesting that the talks to restore diplomatic relations were held up because they were unwilling to allow us to send
secured shipments to a secured embassy and number of staff necessary to operate a future embassy and unwilling to remove the military presence around a future embassy. let me ask you would the state department to agree to establish a embassy in havana in all diplomats aren't able to travel freely through cuba? >> senator, what i can tell you, we have to have an embassy where diplomats can get out and travel and see the country and talk to people. we have restrictions on the way our embassy travel in terms of notification to governments in many countries around the world that range from 24 hours to ten days. we are going to do everything possible to make sure that we have the least restrictions possible but our -- >> we will accept restrictions
that all of our diplomats and embassy would be able to travel through the country? >> we will make sure that the embassy is on a par with the way we operate in other places that are restrictive environments but -- >> would you agree to conditions in which we can't send secure shipments to supply a future embassy without the regime rifling through them? >> senator, i'm not going to necessarily layout all of the negotiations for -- >> why not? wait a minute. >> senator, let me -- >> do we not have a united states congress have the right to understand how you are trying to establish diplomatic relations. the nation needs to know in what conditions we're going to have or not have relationship. are you going to allow the cubans to rifle through your diplomatic -- with impunity or insist you can send something to the embassy as we do in other places in the world.
>> we believe in the viability of the diplomatic pouch and it's critical to resupply a future embassy and important to supply the building now that has maintenance and upkeep. that's a critical part of our discussion. >> will you accept conditions less than that? >> we won't accept conditions in which we can't securely supply our facilities. >> would you agree to open an embassy if you aren't granted a number of staff you need to operate it efficiently? >> not if we can't have the number of staff we believe we need, no. >> are you willing to open an embassy of the castro regime doesn't remove its military cordon from around the building which is basically a way to intimidate average cubans from approaching our facility? >> we will not open an embassy unless we believe that the security outside the embassy is appropriate to protect our installation but we will also
make sure that it is welcoming of cubans into the installation as an embassy, the way we do around the world. >> let me ask you, you agreed with me ultimately that the castro regime statement as to relates to that they have never supported, never supported any act of international terrorism is not true. so if you agree that these statements by the castro regime are cat gorically false how can you explain to the committee why you would think you can believe any assurances about the regime's current or future conduct if they both face lied in the first place? >> what we were looking at in the assurances is not necessarily whether or not their assertions on behalf of all reported history for the cuban government are -- we agree with every statement of the past,
what we have to look at is what the requirements are under the law, which talk about the rejection of international terrorism, which they have made and lack of police support or any evidence for support -- international terrorism. >> partially lie to you but not fully lie -- >> senator, we have differences in what we -- they do not believe they have ever supported international terrorism. >> they sent you a letter and the state department quoted that particular section which it's incredible to believe that section you buy into. the red cross under the president's announcement was supposed to have access to cuban jails, has that taken place? >> we do not say the red cross would have access -- >> what -- you announced they would have -- i understand it was access to cuban jails. >> i don't believe we ever said that the cubans had agreed to that. what we said was that we were hoping that international organizations wouldry new their
discussions with the cuban government about those issues, including the red cross and u.n. >> has the red cross been able to get in freely? >> not that i know. >> last question. we talk about telecom access and a lot has been discussed about that. in late february, the first vice president who senator boxer referred to as the -- looks like he would be the next heir in the election. there's no election, it's a selection, can we agree on that? >> we can agree that what the cuban government calls an election is not what we believe meets international standards. >> it's the cuban communist party and that's it. he gave a long rambling speech, the second highest official in the cuban government about the internet in cuba. the affirmation that the
regime's internet strategy would be led by the communist party. given the communist party's half century long effort to deprive the cuban people of the most minimal standards of freedom of the press and information would you have the committee believe that the communist party won't make every possible effort to block access to all content that it deems undesirable similar to what we have seen in other closed societyies around the world? >> when more people have access to the internet, even if governments try to prevent them seeing things they don't want them to, they are remarkably inventive in finding ways to do so. >> let me ask you this. can we have your assurances that the state department and the united states government will take all possible steps to ensure that the cuban people have access to sir couple navigation technologies to get
around regime censorship. if we're going to say we want u.s. companies to develop this infrastructure in cuba, certainly we could have technologies so the cuban people are truly free to see any site they want. >> certainly i hope that the majority and vast majority or all of the cuban people will have complete access to the continue internet. >> i'm asking you if we're going to license companies under the libe rta d act can't we make a condition of that license that they have navigation technologies so senator flake and udall and mark, everyone who wants access to the internet, we're in common cause on that, actually can get access to the internet? what's so difficult about suggesting the technology? >> i don't know we can do that
but i know -- >> any condition we want as a condition of sale. >> i wrote that section of law when i was in house of representatives. i know what it says and you can put conditions on it. i hope to hear back from you whether you will insist on that as an ability to have u.s. companies -- if we want access for the cuban people to have the internet, which i do. >> i do as well senator, but i also want them to be able to have those deals go through and to make it the most effective way that more on the island can have access -- >> a deal without full access to the internet is a deal to an end without access to the critical information that we think can help liberate the cuban people. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. any other questions? i want to thank the committee again. i know there's a lot of adverse views about this proposed new policy. and actually a policy that's
being implemented and i want to thank the witnesses for being here. if you would, the record will be open without objection to the close of business thursday if you'd answer promptly, we would appreciate it. we thank you for your service to our country. with that, we're adjourned. >> you can watch this hearing on u.s. policy towards cuba as well as the president's announcement from a few months ago on our website, cspan.org. we'll go live now to new london, connecticut as president obama ais ending the graduation ceremony u.s. coast guard academy. we join his commencement address to graduates.
>> it's about what we can give to this world. cadets, you're at the start of your careers. if we cannot know how many days we'll walk this earth we can't guarantee we're going to live to 100. all we can do is live each day to its fullest. what we can do is look squarely at what will make the biggest difference for future generations. and be willing to tackle those challenges. as you embark on your life and man your stations and head to the seas and take to the skies, should the sea begin to surge and waves swell and wind blows hard against your face i want you to think back to this moment
to feel what you feel in your hearts today. if you remember all that you've learned here and how you came here and came together out of many to achieve a team you could never do alone, if you resolve to stay worthy of traditions that endure honor, respect, devotion to duty, if you heed the wisdom and humility, of petty officer second class from oklahoma to think not of yourself but what you can give to this world. i'm confident you'll rise to meet the challenges that not only face our country but face our planet. your legacy will be a nation that is stronger and safer for generations to come. the class of 2015 thank you for your service. congratulations. god bless you and god bless all
admiral, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. will the candidates for the degree of bachelor of science please rise. [ applause ] as dean of academics, i have the honor of presenting to you kand dalgts for the degree of bachelor of science. they have been examined and approved by the faculty. >> i confer upon each of you bachelor of science and admit you to the ranks and privileges. congratulations to the class of 2015. well done!
[ applause ] >> class of 2015, preez be seated. i'm pleased to introduce jim mccally who will present the candidates for commission in the united states coast guard. >> mr. president, mr. secretary admiral zune cost ladies and gentlemen and members of the class of 2015, good afternoon. i have the honor of presenting to you the candidates for the commission of enson in the united states coast guard, they have met all military requirements. at this time i invite you to administer the oath of office to those being commissioned in the united states coast guard.
>> being commissioned in the united states coast guard please rise, raise your right hand and repeat after me. having been appointed to the grade of enson in the united states coast guard, i do solemnly swear -- that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. against all enemies, foreign and domestic domestic. >> that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. that i take this obligation
freely. without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion. and that i will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office of which i'm about to enter. so help me god. you may lower your right hand. as i look upon the class of 2015 you took an oath four years ago the oath you have just taken today as commissioned you as ensons in the greatest coast guard on the face of this earth, the united states coast guard. congratulations.
[ applause ] >> please be seated. >> thank you admiral. we will now present the graduating class with their diplomas and commissions. as each graduate approaches the platform today he or she is being presented with a gift by the alumni association presenting the class of 2015 challenge calling will be andrea marsil and class of 2015 representative mr. gene bowen, coast guard academy class of 1965. the degrees of bachelor of science will be presented by the
superintendent rear admiral sandra l.stowes, commissions presented by our commander in chief, president barack obama. [ applause ] captain jim mccally will announce the name to the unit which each is assigned. >> ladies and gentlemen, it is my deep personal honor to name each graduate, their academic honors and future assignment. since it's founding in 1876 the united states coast guard academy graduated leaders of character in service to our nation. out of respect for each
graduate, please hold all sounds of acknowledgements and applause until the last graduate has crossed the stage. at that time we'll give them the thunderous round of applause they so richly deserve. david quinton anderson, portsmouth virginia, his commission will be presented business his father colonel nicholas anderson u.s. army retired. nino an ban philippine coast guard, manila philippines. kendall ray oth graduating with honors alameda, california, her commission will be presented by her brother, lieutenant grade trevor hoff u.s. coast guard.
avery lane ayers, graduating with honors, portsmouth virginia. mckay la may back ka graduating with honors deck watch officer, cape canaveral, florida. courtney nicole bailey, graduating with honors deck watch officer san francisco, california. nicholas james barn quet, student engineer seattle washington. ethan thomas beard, graduating with high honors, marine inspector prevention department,
sector new orleans new orleans louisiana. laura marie bellam deck watch officer, cutter decisive mississippi. megan nicole benson, graduating with honors deck watch officer, pensacola, florida. daniel joseph deck watch officer, portsmouth virginia. christina michelle billado, student engineer port angeles, washington. her commission will be presented by her grandfather, clair walter lieutenant colonel, u.s. air force retired.
aaron black virginia beach, virginia. elise morgan bobchinxi graduating with high honors, honolulu hawaii. >> matthew francis bogden graduating with honors, student engineer, key west, florida. his commission will be presented by his brother lieutenant junior grade andrew ogden, u.s. coast guard. victoria rose bornlg us, deck watch officer, cape canaveral, florida. richard choi brady, graduating with honors student engineer, cutter seneca boston
massachusetts. matthew morguean brigham seattle, washington. his commission will be presented by his mother katherine brigham captain major air force retired. portsmouth virginia. bradley shea brown, graduating with high honors deck watch officer, cutter stratton, alameda, california. his commission will be presented by his grandfather james brown, commander u.s. navy retired. robert brown, deck watch officer, cutter northland portsmouth virginia.
pensacola, florida. jasper david campbell deck watch officer seattle, washington. >> sara elizabeth cantrel deck watch officer portsmouth virginia. her commission will be presented by her brother christopher cantrel, second lieutenant u.s. marine corps. luke wilson corani graduating with high honors, deck watch officer, boston, massachusetts. samantha jennifer cardoza graduating with honors, deck watch officer, cordova, alaska kyle jacob carpenter galveston, texas. his commission will be presented by his father, kent carpenter
colonel u.s. marine corps retired. lauren sephali, deck watch officer, seattle washington. juan jose sistero deck watch officer, cutter tampa, portsmouth virginia. robert bruce chamber lain, portsmouth new hampshire. alexis diana ago lar, deck watch officer, port angeles, washington. kyle dalton cheney deck watch officer, culter alex haley
kodiak alaska. his commission will be presented by his father captain eric cheney u.s. navy. nicholas paul jacoin graduating with honors deck watch officer cutter stratton alameda, california. >> neil patrick clarken, cutter bear portsmouth virginia. samantha marie clayton, deck watch officer, cutter melon, seattle, washington. lindsay renee coke burn, pensacola, florida flight training. matthew joseph kolard may port
florida. madeleine rose cop yoen any cutter charles david junior, key west, florida. her commission will be presented by her father barry campinoni, retired and sister u.s. coast guard. andrew steven pearson constant student engineer seattle, washington. brinna marie cook graduating with high honors, deck watch officer, cutter mowhawk, key west florida. nicholas edward couture student engineer virginia beach,
virginia. hannah eileen kroenen, deck watch officer portsmouth, new hampshire. noel jose cruz, cutter james charleston south carolina. elaine margaret dana, graduating with honors, deck watch officer cutter stedfast astoria, oregon. her commission will be presented by her father matthew dana colonel u.s. army retired. megan mary daniels student engineer culter vigilant, cape
canaveral, florida. justin scott davis graduating with honors, homer, alaska, james bernard hawkins, deck watch officer, san diego, california. lloyd christopher diaz student engineer, cutter morgueen thal, honolulu hawaii. patrick john dris graduating with high honors, deck watch officer, cutter confidence cape canaveral, florida. peter michael driscoll
graduating with high honors, deck watch officer cutter sequoia, guam. omar akeel new kinson, student engineer cutter northland portsmouth virginia. lindsay katherine, deck watch officer, key west, florida. cody wayne eager graduating with honors, flight training pensacola, florida. timothy james early graduating with honors flight training pensacola, florida. his commission will be presented
by his grandfather, calvin early, captain, u.s. navy retired. >> conlind. edwards astoria, oregon, graduating with honors. andrew nicholas ellis, deck watch officer cutter tampa, portsmouth virginia. drew alexander ferraro deck watch officer san juan puerto rico. stephanie ann figgins, alameda, california.
dylan francis, boston massachusetts. clayton greeley flynn graduating with honors student engineer cutter val yant, mayport, florida. katherine diane flocken, deck watch officer, san juan puerto rico. nicholas mitchell foster student engineer boston, massachusetts. boston fullmer graduating high honors, detroit, michigan. his commission will be presented by his father, colonel james fullmer, u.s. army.
elizabeth may furlin, portsmouth new hampshire. her commission will be presented by her father, john furman jr. captain retired. >> nicole marie garrett graduating with high honors flight training pensacola, florida. megan joan ja vosky izaac mayo, key west, florida. vaughn douglas gamen cutter hamilton charleston, south carolina.
kaelany geefer, graduating with high honors, william flores, miami, florida. salvatore giapapa cutter active, port angeles washington. michael franco giorgio the third, deck watch officer, cutter harriet lane, portsmouth, virginia. nathaniel aaron george yoe, graduating with honors, flight training pensacola, florida. bethany charlotte gallen graduating with honors, deck watch officer, honolulu hawaii.
kelsi elizabeth gray, deck watch officer, cutter thet is, key west florida. benjamin david green graduating with high honors, student engineer cutter confidence, cape canaveral, florida. victoria marie gerler, deck watch officer, portsmouth, new hampshire. kyle david hadley deck watch officer, cutter melon, seattle, washington. tyler mark hafhill deck watch officer, cutter northland port
portsmouth, virginia. benjamin brian han nan graduating with honors cutter richard patterson san juan, puerto rico. chloe caprice harman deck watch officer, cutter alert astoria, her commission will be presented by her father, glenn harman, commander, u.s. navy retired. analise harper pensacola florida, flight training of the her commission will be presented by her father, brian harper, major u.s. air force retired.
>> william andrew hasbrook, deck watch officer, graduating with honors kodiak alaska. his commission will be presented by his father major william hasbrook jr., u.s. air force retired. mary elizabeth hasen, student engineer michigan. sloan marie dek mitch student engineer, graduating with honors cutter heelly, seattle washington. jacob albert heller, deck watch officer, cutter tampa, portsmouth new hampshire. shelby katherine henderson deck watch officer, cutter monroe, kodiak alaska.
sara ann herrera, graduating with honors student engineer, cutter hamilton, charl charleston, south carolina. her commission will be presented by her father, lieutenant colonel steven herrera, u.s. march marine corps. graduating with honors, deck watch officer, cutter diligence wilmington north carolina. his commission will be presented by his father, thomas u.s. coast guard retired. adam james hoberg, graduating with honors, deck watch officer cutter steadfast, astoria, oregon. gordon scott holloway, deck
watch officer cutter midget, seattle, washington. his commission will be presented by his sister, lieutenant junior holloway holloway, u.s. coast guard. >> steven benjamin horvad cutter full star, seattle, washington, graduating with honors. mark howard, student year cutter harriet lane portsmouth virginia. lexi marie holland deck watch officer, cutter paul clark. miami, florida. ryan james hub, deck watch officer, graduating with high
honors, cutter stratton alameda, california. david lloyd hughes, student engineer, washington. his commission will be presented by his father david hughes, lieutenant commander u.s. navy retired. timothy david hols graduating with honors deck watch officer, alameda, california. eric duane jackson, graduating with high honors, deck watch officer, cutter alert, astoria oregon. jonathan highly jester deck watch officer, cutter alex haley, kodiak, alaska. nathan taylor jones deck watch officer, cutter mobile bay,
sturgeon bay, wisconsin. his commission will be presented by his father bruce jones captain u.s. coast guard retired and by his brother, lieutenant jr. grade wesley jones u.s. coast guard. nicholas james keely graduating with high honors, flight training pensacola, florida. zachary daniel kearney deck watch officer, cutter polar star seattle, washington. cody mcah kayo kodiak, alaska. joseph henry kelly graduating with honors deck watch officer
seattle, washington. his commission will be presented by his father commander, u.s. naval reserve retired. jonathan david lash. graduating with honors, deck watch officer cutter healey seattle, washington. his commission will be presented by his father donald lash junior, u.s. army, retired. blake edward lassiter. cutter tahoma, ports smith, new hampshire. brent nathan law, graduating with honors. deck watch officer, san diego
lit lithgow, junior. >> watik latiffe. andrew kyle lusack graduating with high honors, flight training, pensacola florida. emma winsley lutton graduating with high honors. student engineer cutter diligence. joel daniel mcarthur graduating with high honors. student engineer, cutter steadfast, oregon.
leanna noelle graduating with high honors. port arthur, texas. her commission will be presented by her father. james thomas martin graduating with honors deck watch officer, cutter valient, may port, florida. deck watch officer cutter steadfast, astoria, oregon. robert huntley mcconnel graduating with honors flight training, pensacola florida.
austin thomas moran, deck watch officer, cutter alder, duluth, minnesota. nicolette moran graduating with honors cutter healey, seattle, washington. james robert miller graduating with honors, student engineer, cutter straton, alameda, california. julia isabelle, galveston, texas. sean victor murphy graduating with honors, deck watch officer,
carlos manuel cutter tampa, port smith, virginia. andrew george ratie graduating with honors deck watch officer, cutter sherman honolulu hawaii. his commission will be presented by his father, u.s. coast guard, retired. jonathan alexander ray deck watch officer, st. petersburg florida. connor, christian regan deck watch officer. san juan puerto rico.
stephen michael reynolds jr. student engineer cutter spencer, boston, massachusetts. his commission will be presented by his father, u.s. air force national guard. jessica lee richardson. deck watch officer cutter willow, new port rhode island. victor nicholas rosarta, student engineer, seattle, washington. nicholas walsh, rogers graduating with honors, deck watch officer cutter vigorous, virginia beach, virginia.
devin francis rodi. deck watch officer, cutter dependable, virginia beach, virginia. her commission will be presented by her sister, lieutenant krista zangel, u.s. coast guard. nicholas javier ramaro. charles ton charleston, south carolina. michael rossi graduating with honors, deck watch officer, cutter sherman, honolulu hawaii. e elizabeth austin runsty. daniel glen sabarin, deck watch
christopher meade saylor cutter alex haley, kodiak, alaska. ann elizabeth schneider graduating with honors, deck watch officer, alameda, california. justin paris sherman graduating with high honors, student engineer cutter sherman, honolulu hawaii. daniel wilson ciders, graduating with high honors, student engineer, st. petersburg florida. lousie john simion graduating with high honors, student
engineer, cutter reliance maine. lillian joy simon. deck watch officer, may port florida. caroline christine sliff graduating with high honors. response department sector lake michigan, milwaukee wisconsin. her commission will be presented by her father. kelsey lawrence smith, flight training pensacola florida. elijah. student engineer. galveston, texas.
leah steinbecht. janae nicole steinmiler. sector corpus christi, corpus christi christi, texas. marina stephens graduating with honors. honolulu hawaii. her commission will be presented by her mother, janet stephens, captain u.s. coast guard, retired. virginia may stodderdard, virginia beach, virginia. >>
john tarzian, deck watch officer, cutter melon seattle washington. lindsay k. tailor. graduating with high honors, student engineer, cutter mohawk, key west, florida. taylor, tenison graduating with honors, deck watch officer cutter robert miami, florida. blake albert thompson deck watch officer, cutter decisive mississippi. paul edward tomio. deck watch officer cutter
thetis, key west, florida. rocko michael graduating with high honors, student engineer cutter sherman, honolulu hawaii. ray ulbrecht. deck watch officer. miami, florida. alexandra marie von rassin cutter midget mp her commission will be presented by her father lieutenant colonel, u.s. army, retired. marina van skoik.
deck watch officer cutter willow, new port, rhode island. david scott wesland cutter dependable, virginia beach virginia. his commission will be presented by his brother second lieutenant paul wesland, u.s. marine corps. james joseph white. port smith virginia. nicholas david williamson graduating with high honors. deck watch officer, cutter raymond evans, key west, florida. his commission will be presented by his father u.s. coast guard. dillan thomas wright. deck watch officer cutter m
mm mcinaw, michigan. tyler langen wright. deck watch officer port smith, virginia. his commission will be presented by his grandfather colonel, u.s. marine corps retired. eli woo graduating with honors, deck watch officer, alameda, california. joel dawson wyman, deck watch officer, cutter decisive mississippi. cutter maple, citka, alaska.
britney nicole zimmerman graduating with honors, deck watch officer, cutter melon, seattle, washington. her commission will be presented by her brother captain devin zimmerman, u.s. army. spencer max well graduating with honors, deck watch officer, cutter morganthaw, honolulu, hawaii. ladies and gentlemen, the graduates of 2015.
president of the coast guard academy class of 2015 will join us at the podium for a special presentation. >> oe behalf of the class of 2015 it's my pleasure to present to you our gift, class of 2015 bearing the presidential seal on one side and the class of 2015 crest on the other symbolizing our thankfulness of severalreceiving our commissions from our commander in chief. >> let me take a look at this. that's good looking right there. hey.
>> will now deliver the benediction. >> let us pray. grags lord we thank you for these fine men and women of the united states coast guard who have raised their right hand and taken a solemn oath to support and defend the constitution of the united states as commissioned officers. they have done so in the presence of our president, ourselves and before you, oh, god. as officers the burden of honor respect and devotion to duty now rests on their shoulders. how they carry out their oaths is up to them. we pray that they walk humbly. that they walk with you close by their side and that they by officers of character in uniform and out of uniform standing duty we're on liberty. when every one is watching and
especially when no one is watching as leaders may they always remember who and who's they are and strive to be the best that you have called them to be as commissioned guardians of our nation's precious maritime resources. by your grace you give them the courage to step forward and do great things. together with them may we to step forward and serve you and this nation grateful for the blessings you have given us eager to do all the good we can and always ready never looking back, never quitting never stopping leaning forward under way full speed ahead in they holy name we pray, amen.
>> wrapping up this coast guard graduation ceremony with president obama class of 2015. we did join it in progress. we're going to go back now and show you the president's address to the grads. this just over half an hour. [ applause ] . >> thank you. thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. everybody please have a seat. class of 2015, ahoy. there are now fewer days to go till the class of 2015 graduates then never mind. there are zero days until the class of 2015 graduates.
[ applause ] thank you admiral for your kind introduction and leadership. governor malloy secretary johnson, ambassador, distinguished guests, faculty and staff, family and friends. you are the first to lead one of our service academyiesacademies. [ applause ] i know you'll keep making history because i was proud to nominate you for your third star and as the coast guard's next
deputy for mission support. [ applause ] it's wonderful to be here with you on this beautiful day. michelle sends her greetings as well. both the coast guard and i were born on the same day. every birthday from now on i will be thinking about the coast guard. you may also be the loudest. when ever i visit our military bases there's lots of soldiers and sailors and airmen they
make a lot of noise but when ever i'm around the world nowhere near an ocean, the most determined cheer from the crowd comes from our proud coast guards men because usually there might only be one or two of them. one person tweeted they were pretty sure i just made this up. then there was one person in town is ask did obama that i mean drop new london. let me do it again. it's a great honor to be back in new london at the united states coast guard academy to salute the newest of america's oldest
that looks dangerous. you made your mark and you'll be remembered. i absolve all cadet restrikctions for minor offenses. you came together as one team. class of 1966 a decorated vietnam veteran. [ applause ] his legacy indurendures all you have. his graduating class is the most diverse in history. you took care of each other like family. today we honor the memory of your classmate from the republic
of georgia. their spirits will live on and the partnerships you forge with coast guards all over the world. today you take your rightful place in the long blue line. for marina stephens and her family it's a very long line. where is she? wave at me real quick. her dad is coast guard civilian. her mom, jants was a coast guard captain and will pin on her shoulder for today. her grandfather was a coast guard's man. her great grandfather joined the u.s. lighthouse service in 1918. that's four generations spanning nearly the entire life of the modern coast guard. no wonder she's named marina.
[ laughter ] it's in her blood. i know that none of you reached this day alone. join me to giving a huge round of applause to your mentors and family members and parents. so many of them members as well. give them a round of applause. [ applause ] class of 2015 i'm here as your commander in chief on behalf of the american people to say thank you to each of you. thanks for choosing to serve, for stepping up for giving up
the comforts of civilian life and putting on that uniform. thank you for the service you are about to render. the life of purpose that you've embraced. the risks you've accepted and the sacrifices that you will make. soon you'll span out across the coast guard. some you have will start your duty aboard cutters and some of you will start flight training. america needs you and we need the coast guard more than ever. we need you to safeguard our ports against all threats including terrorism. we need you to respond in times of disaster or distress and lead
your rescue team as they jump out of perfectly good helicopters. we need you interdicting drugs before they enter our streets and damage our kids. we need you to help our partners train their own coast guards. these are all demanding missions. the pace of operations is intense. these are tight fiscal times for all our services including the coast guard. we're going to keep working to give you the boats and the cutters and aircraft that you need to complete the missions we
ask of you. i made it clear that i will not accept these budgets will these draconian budget cuts because our nation and military and coast guard deserve better. [ applause ] this brings me to the challenge i want focus on today when our coast guards men are already on the front lines and that perhaps more than any other will shape your entire careers. that's the urging need to combat and adapt to climate change. as a nation we face many challenges including the grave threat of terrorism. as americans we will do
everything in our power to protect our country. even as we meet threats like terrorism we cannot and we must not ignore a peril that can affect generations. i know there's still some folks back in washington who refuse to admit that climate change is real. on a day like today it's hard to get too worried about it. there are folk who is will say i'm not a scientist. well, i'm not either but the best scientist in the world know that climate change is happening. our analyst in the intelligence community know climate change is happening. our military leaders, general and admirals, active duty and retired know it's happening. our homeland security professionals know it's
happening and our coast guard knows it's happening. the science is indisputable. the fossil fuels we burn release car don dioxide which traps heat. the levels of carbon dioxide are now higher than they have been in 800,000 years. the planet is getting warmer. 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have been in the past 15 years. last year was the planet's warmest year. the sea ice around antarctica is breaking up faster than expected.
by the end of this century it's predicted to rise another one to four feet. cadets, the tlets of a changing climate cuts to the very core of your service. you've been drawn to water like the poet who wrote the heart of the great ocean sends a thrillingthrill ing pulse through me. you know the beauty of the sea but you also know it's unforgiving power. here at the academy client change understanding the science and consequences is part of the curriculum and rightly so because it will affect everything you do in your careers. some you have have already served in alaska and aboard ice breakers and you know the
effects. you've pledged to remain always ready. semper semper paratus ready for all threats. this is not just a problem for companies on the coast or certain regions of the world. climate change will impack every country on the planet. no nation is immune. i'm here today to say that climate change constituted a serious threat to national security. an immediate risk to our national security. after all isn't that the true hallmark of leadership. if you're on deck you're standing your watch you stay
vigil. you plan for every contingency. if you see storm clouds gathering or dangerous shoulds ahead, you don't sit back and do nothing, you take action to protect your ship, to keep your crew safe. anything less is negligence. denying it or refusing to deal with it damages our national security. it undermines the readiness of our forces. it's been said of life on the sea that the pessimist complains about the wind. the optimist expects it to change. the realist adjusts the sails.
we are by nature optimists but we're not blind optimists. we must be realists. we have to readjust the sails. that's why con fronting climate change is a key pillar of american global leadership. when i meet with leaders around the world it's often at the top of our agenda. you are part of the first generation of officers to begin your service in a world where the effects of climate change are so clearly upon us. it will shape how every one of our services plan, operate and train, equip and protect their infrastructure, their capabilities today and for the long term.
let me be specific on how your generation will have to lead the way to both prepare ourselves and how to prevent the worst effects in the future. around the world climate change increases the risk of instablts and conflict. rising seas are already swallowing low lying lands from bangladesh to pacific islands forcing people from their homes. caribbean islands in central american coasts are vulnerable as well. globally we could see a rise in climate change refugees. i guarantee the coast guard will have to respond. elsewhere more intense droughts will exacerbate shortages of water and food. increased competition for resources and create the potential for mass migrations and new tensions. all of which is why the pentagon calls climate change a threat multiflier. understand climate change did not cause the complex we see
around the world. yet what we also know is that severe drought helped to create the instability in nigeria extorted by the terrorist group boka haram. increasingly our military and our commanders, our services including the coast guard will need to factor climate change into plans and operations because you need to be ready. around the world climate change will mean more extreme storms. no single weather event can be blamed solely on climate change by typhoon in the philippines gave us a possible glimpse of things to come. thousands killed. many more displaced. billions of dollars in damage and a massive international
relief effort that included the united states military and its coast guard. more extreme storms will mean more humanee humanitarian missions to deliver life saving help. our forces will have to be ready. as admiral already mentioned it means arctic sea ice is vanishing faster than ever. arctic summers could be ice free by the middle of the century. we're witnessing the birth of a new ocean. in alaska we have more than 1,000 miles of arctic coastline. the united states is an arctic nation and we have a great interest in making sure that the region is peaceful. that its indigenous people and environment are protected and
resources are managed responsibley and partnered with other nations. that means all of you will have to step up. few know the arctic better than the coast guard. you operated across nearly 150 years. as the arctic opens the role that the coast guard plays will only grow. i believe that our interest demand that we continue to invest in an enduring coast guard ice breaking capacity. i was proud to nominate your last admiral pat add special representatives for the arctic and as the u.s. chairs the arctic arctic council this year i'm committed to advancing in this critical region because we have to be ready in the arctic as well. climate change and especially rising seas is a tlets to our homeland security. our economic structure, the safety and health of the
american people. already today in miami and charleston streets now flood at high tide. along the coast thousands of miles of roads and railways are null verable. vulnerable. new york harbor sea levels are higher than a century ago. during sandy the coast guard was responsible along national guard and reserve. rising seas and stronger storms will mean more disaster response mission.
poses a threat to the readiness forces. our coast guard stations. in alaska thawing permafrost are damaging military facilities. out west deeper droughts and wildfires. politicians who say they care about military readiness ought to care about this as well. this is where helping american communities prepare to deal with the impacts of climate change. we have to help our bases and ports as well. not just with stronger sea walls but smarter more resilient infrastructure. when the seas ride and come we all have to be ready.
everything i've discussed with you so far is about preparing for the impacts of climate change. we need to be honest. such preparation and adaptation alone will not be enough. as men and women in uniform you know that it can be just as important, if not more important to prevent the threats before they can cause catastrophic harm. the only way is to slow down the warming of the planet. some warming is now inevitable. it has to start reducing
commission now. that's why i've committed united states to leading the world. over the past six years we have done more to reduce emissions. to help us reduce more than any other nation. we all have to step up. it will not be easy. there is no other way. we have to make our homes and builds more efficient.
we have to move ahead with standards to cut the amount of carbon pollutions in our power plants. working with other nations we have to achieve a strong global to reduce the total global emission because every nation wants to do its part. every nation. this will be tough but as so often as the case, our men and women in uniform show us the way. they are used to sacrifice and are used to doing hard stuff. class of 2015 you built new equipment that uses less energy. you designed new vessels with fewer harmful emissions. stephen selected as a full bright scholar will research new technologies for renewable energies. the coast guard is building more fuel efficient cutters. you're already leading.
as you go forward i challenge you to keep imagining and building the new future we need. make your class motto your life's work to go where few dare. this is a place where need you. across our military our bases and ports are using more solar and wind which helps save money that we can use to improve readiness. the army's pursuing new lighter more fuel efficient vehicles. the air force f-22 broke the sound barrier using biofuels and the navy runs an entire green fleet with biofuels. our marines have deployed to afghanistan with portable solar panels lightening their load and reducing dangerous resupply missions. so fighting climate change and using energy wisely also makes our forces more nimble and more ready and that's something that should unite us as americans. this cannot be subject to the
usual politics and the usual rhetoric. when storms gather, we get ready. and i want to leave you with a story that captures the persistence and the patriotism that this work requires because this is a nation made up of folks who know how to do hard things. down in the front row is dr. olivia hooker. in 1921, in tulsa, oklahoma, when she was just 6 years old, her african-american community was attack by white mobs. it was an horrific racial rinse dent. and hundreds of innocent african-americans were killed. the mobs destroyed her father's clothing store. they looted her house. they even burned the little
clothes for her daughter. and olivia could have given in to bitterness. she could have been pessimistic about her country. instead, she made it better. so in world war ii she enlisted becoming the first african-american woman in the coast guard. as a yeoman -- [ applause ] >> -- as a yeoman. boston she served with distinction. by the time the war was won, she was discharged. she was a petty officer 2nd class. with the gi bill olivia earned her master's then her doctorate. she has been a troughprofessor and mentor to her students, a passionate advocate for students with disabilities, a caregiver at the height of the aids
epidemic a tireless voice for justice, and equality. and a few months ago olivia turned 100 years old. so olivia you're going to have to tell us your secret. she's still as sharp as they come and as fearless. in yonkers, new york she even still volunteers as a member of the coast guard auxiliary and was determined to be with us here today. so dr. hooker erhooker, thank you. you are an inspiration. 100 years old.
dr. hooker's led a remarkable life. but this is what she says. it's not about you, or me. it's about what we can give to this world. cadets, you're at the start of your careers. and we cannot know each of us, how many days we will walk this earth. we can't guarantee we're all going to live to 100. all we can do is live each day to its fullest. what we can do is look squarely at what will make the biggest difference for future generations. and be willing to tackle those challenges. and as you embark on your life of service, as you man your stations, and head to the seas
and take to the skies should the sea begin to surge and the waves swell and the wind blows hard against your face i want you to think back to this moment, to feel what you feel in your hearts today. if you remember all that you've learned here how you came here and came together out of many one to achieve as a team what you could never do alone, if you resolve to stay worthy of traditions that endure honor, respect, devotion to duty, if you heed the wisdom and humility of a petty officer 2nd class from oklahoma to think not of yourself but what you can give to this world, then i'm confident that you will truly go where few dare and you will rise to meet the challenges that not only face our country but face our planet. and your legacy will be a nation
that is stronger and safer for generations to come. so class of 2015, thank you for your service. congratulations. god bless you. god bless all our coast guardsmen. god bless our united states of america. thank you. coming up shortly, hearing on u.s. capitol security. the chief of the u.s. capitol police will be testifying before the house administration committee this afternoon about some of the recent incidents on the capitol grounds including a suicide, that gyrocopter landing and reports of unattended weapons. live coverage starting in a few
moments here on c-span3. hearing is scheduled to get under way at 2:00 p.m. eastern time. the senate is in session today. they continue to work on trade promotion authority with debate on amendments. votes may occur later today. the senate is live on our companion network c-span2. here's more an what the senate is working on from a capitol hill reporter. >> staff writer for "the hill" newspaper is with us to talk about action in the senate this week. just begin with efforts in congress to renew provisions of the patriot act. the house passed by large bipartisan majority the usa freedom act that makes some reforms to the patriot act. where does that stand in the senate with two days to go before memorial day recess? >> you're right, there is a limited amount of time to get everything the senate needs to get done finished before they leave town. but majority leader mitch mcconnell has pledged to allow the usa freedom act which is the
house passed perform bill up for a vote. it is pretty unclear at this point if that could get the 60 votes it needs to be successful. >> if they cannot, what's the majority leader's plan then? >> he's also brought up a two-month extension of the patriot act as it currently stands that probably also doesn't have the votes it needs to pass. so leadership right now is kind of really looking for what you might call a back-up plan on what they can do either once they get back or if they can try to scramble to get something done before they leave. >> if they can pass a short-term extension, then that gets kicked over to the house. what are house lawmakers saying about passing a short-term fix or short-term extension if you will, of the patriot act? >> they have very flatly said that it is not going to happen and they also won't wait around to stay in session to see what the senate does. they are trying to pressure the senate to pass the house bill
and saying that's the only option at this point. >> last week in the senate the two leaders of their parties mitch mcconnell the majority leader, harry reid, the minority leader, came up with a deal on trade. they've started moving forward with these trade votes. what happens now this week on trade? what is happening. and the majority leader's promised an open amendment process. is he going to have enough time to allow all the amendments to this debate? >> the majority leader actually filed cloture on the trade bill last night but he very much tried to make it seem like this isn't the end of the process we can still have amendment votes before the procedure vote will be, on thursday morning. so you heard a lot of democrats saying this isn't the robust open process we were promised. we have more than 100 amendments that we think are important that we want votes on. they are very much trying to kick this thing so when they come back in june they have given it more time but mcconnell
is adamant they're getting this done this week. >> the house yesterday passed a short-term extension of the highway trust fund bill. is the senate going to do the same before they leave town? >> the highway trust fund bill, they've left the least noncontroversial. the senate is expected to pass a two-month extension. neither side is not publicly happy about it but recognize it is what they have to do. >> more to come on that. if you're interested in watching the debate in the senate, all those issues tune in to c-span2. a live look on capitol hill where u.s. capitol police chief kim dime will be testifying shortly before the house administration committee on conduct and mission of his agency. the hearing will look at a number of incidents involving the u.s. capitol police. police officers leaving weapons